Yasamin Kusunoki

The Dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence

Research Project Description

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health problem among adolescents and young adults in the U.S., where about one-third of young people have experienced such violence. Consequences of IPV for women include higher rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, greater chance of dying in childbirth, and greater likelihood that children will have low birth weight and will die in infancy. Some research suggests that these health consequences are greater as the frequency and severity of violence increase. Methodological and substantive problems with past research substantially limit our understanding of IPV and how to reduce or prevent it. In particular, we know little about how IPV changes over time, and what individual and relationship factors influence these changes. This project investigates the dynamic patterns of violence within young women's intimate relationships and the extent to which individual and relationship factors affect these dynamic patterns. Newly available data from the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) study make this research possible because they include detailed weekly measures of IPV and pregnancy for a racially and socioeconomically diverse, population-representative random sample of young women. The RDSL has data from baseline face-to-face interviews and 2.5 years of weekly follow-up journal-type surveys on respondents' relationship experiences (including violence), sex, contraception, and pregnancy.

Funding: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (1 R03 HD 080775 01 A1)

Funding Period: 4/1/2015 to 3/31/2018

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